Saturday, May 10, 2008

And We're Off!

After a two-year one-month and nine-day wait, things are packed up and ready to go.
It's time to travel again!
The Big Day is Here!
I've been running around the last few days tying up loose ends, working, seeing some friends, putting in the garden, hitting the taco ride, and finishing up the last bit of schoolwork. Finally it's time to enjoy this trip. Jamie and I are excited to travel together and see a new part of the world. Hopefully the airlines will have their act together and we won't be seeing the insides of the airport too much. Not sure if the whole rewiring thing effects our planes or our schedule much. Sitting in an airport during your PTO is never fun, we purchased travel insurance for a few dollars to at least assuage the pain of sitting in an airport or having something stolen.
We leave for Chicago late this morning and will arrive in Spain early tomorrow morning. Because Sunday is a day of rest in most parts of the world, things in Madrid will be shut down and not nearly as hellish to navigate through. This should give us time to recuperate and plan our week a little better. I emailed the hostel to double check the reservation and inquired about the possibility of a futbol game. They responded and said there is a game Sunday night at 9 bells. Perfect! Jamie has never been and she will definitely enjoy it. I gotta say that soccer is the world's game. The sport carries more weight than the Olympics for the fact that a country will shut down while their team plays. Friends I met in Argentina say that the city becomes a ghost town and the 9 de Julio will empty, kids stay home from school, and parents head to friends homes during World Cup to observe the match. The passion for soccer puts any college or pro football fan base to shame. Hopefully Jamie and I will catch a good match. 
We will be gone for ~two weeks and will be backpacking. The whole backpacking thing reminds me of a person I knew who was going to Europe and preferred a suitcase to carry their belongings. They insisted they didn't need a backpack. But my question was, have you ever heard of someone suitcasing through Europe? Never! It's always backpacking somewhere, never suitcasing. Do you hear stories that start out like, "Yea, remember the summer time after college I spent suitcasing through time of my life, man." Suitcasing sounds so inflexible and informal that I bet Bill Bryson would make fun of you in his next book if he saw you traveling with this huge box on wheels. Anyways, take it for what it's worth. I like backpacks because they are easier to handle, your hands are freed up and you can easily move through a crowd without taking out too many people.

Here's a little description of what we've packed inside of our two packs. 
I learned a great trick from my friend Dean Jacobs who recommended to group related items into sweaterbags. I tried this on my last trip and it makes packing/unpacking simple. Instead of unpacking five pairs of socks, you unpack the sweaterbag of socks. I have about five things to unpack now. Here's a quick break down of what im bringing and fitting into my Arcteryx Bora 80
  • Five shirts: two long sleeve, short sleeve, formal (sort of) and a sweater.
  • Two pairs of pants: one pair jeans the other are my North Face convertible pants/shorts
  • Belt
  • One pair of Chacos
  • One pair of nicer shoes
  • Two pair of socks
  • Four pairs undies
  • Two jackets: one rainjacket, one fleece
  • Shaving kit with various toiletries
  • Journal
  • Something to read
  • headlamp
  • Nikon D40x pretty excited to take some cool shots with my new D-SLR.
Jamie packed along the same lines, but maybe a little more stuff. Here's the thing though...She's lucky because she's much smaller than I am and can fit more into her bag than I can. She's a packing machine.

Anyways...I'm off to run some more errands before Ma and Pa drives us to the airport. We asked them to pick us up a little earlier for the simple fact that my dad drives ~10-15 mph under the speed limit. Seriously, he will get stopped for slowing before he gets stopped for speeding. We appreciate them taking the time to drop us off.

Drop me an email if you want a postcard!



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